As it’s Shrove Tuesday this week, we’re planning to have a lot of fun making pancakes on the fire. I much prefer making pancakes outside; no whirring extractor fan, and much easier for everyone to get involved. I thought I’d share my tips and recipe.
The thicker American style pancakes are far easier to cook lots of and eat than the large thin ones. Whilst talking a bit about the spiritual idea behind Mardi Gras, I let children choose what toppings they’d like, and ask them to imagine doing without what they chose for 40 days. Alongside, some of the more conventional toppings I offer them the chance to try hedgerow treats such a rosehip syrup, or blackberry compote.
If you have vegans or gluten/ egg/ dairy intolerant children there are lots of alternative recipes out there. I like this one but you’ll need to whizz up the oats at home. https://simpleveganblog.com/3-ingredient-vegan-gf-pancakes/)
a tablespoon or two of plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder or bicarbonate of soda
a cup of milk
I turn it into a bit of a science lesson and get them to work in small groups to mix the batter, an absolute hoot but it’s good for them to see how their mixture turns out when cooked. As with any campfire cooking, it’s important to keep the food prep area clean and hygienic so have somewhere clean to rest your cooking utensils and ingredients. I use a plastic sheet and tupperware.
Split the class into groups of 6. The above quantity should be enough for a pancake each. Get them to measure and mix the ingredients into a metal/plastic jug. I find mixing the egg and the milk together with a fork first helps.
What you want to end up with is a thick cream consistency so add more milk/flour as needed.
What you need: a griddle or cast iron pan, a trivet or something to support your pan over the embers (I often use two green logs, rest the pan on these and scoop some hot embers between the logs to cook on) oil to cook with, a fish slice, somewhere clean to rest your utensils, a cloth for wiping your hands, tongs and a fire glove. I serve the pancakes on kitchen roll then burn it afterwards.
Get the pan nice and hot, add some oil and blob (or get the children to blob) tablespoons of the mixture in, you can get about 5 in the pan at once. Cook until light brown then flip and cook the other side. Manage the temperature by cooking over embers rather than flames. If you’re pan is suitable you could try making a larger pancake for the staff to share and try tossing it!